“It’s time to free music from this oppressive system.”
That was rapper and producer Kanye West, who announced via Instagram that his new album, “Donda 2”, will only be available on his platform, the Stem Player.
“Not on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or YouTube. Today artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes,” he said. “It’s time to take control and build our own.”
The Stem Player is described on its website as a small, Bluetooth device that lets users split songs into stems and customize any song, and it retails for $200.
“You can play four different elements of the track: vocals, drums, bass and music. It also has an MP3 available,” said West, who added that 67,000 devices are currently in stock and 3,000 a day are being produced.
“Donda,” the 10th studio album from the rapper, was released in August 2021 and named after his late mother Donda West. According to Chart Data, “Donda” earned nearly 100 million first-day streams on Spotify’s
global chart, the second-biggest album debut of all-time.
That album logged over 60 million streams in the U.S. during its first 24 hours on Apple Music
and set a new 2021 record for that service.
Spotify has had its own share of backlash lately, after Neil Young asked to have his music removed over concerns about COVID-19 misinformation, with fellow musician Joni Mitchell, podcaster Roxane Gay and other artists following suit.